Saturday, April 14, 2012

Yellow Butter Cake

I don't make a lot of cupcakes at home. In fact, that little cake in a cup intimates me. A good cupcake must have a good base, then the frosting must complements the base with just enough sweetness. Also the cake needs to be moist, so timing is everything when you bake the cake in shallow cupcake tins compare to a wider cake pan.

I've tried several cupcake specialty stores in Los Angeles. Dots Cupcake at Pasadena has the most balanced flavor. I think the cake is barely sweetened, but that makes the frosting stand out so much. The sea salt caramel cupcake even has a condensed milk filling that ups the sweetness of the cake. But besides the frosting and filling, Dots Cupcake have bland cake base. To a point where you get a acidic or perhaps a metallic taste from tasting too much baking powder.

Lemonade and The Oinkster both serve really cute petite cupcakes. I love how appetizing the size is without overwhelming your sweet tooth, but they are both super greasy. If you hold either cupcake in a paper bag, the bottom of the bag can soak up so much oil. The excess oil keeps their cupcakes moist at all times. Maybe that's just the way restaurants do to extend shelf life.

I haven't found a better tasting cupcake than Sprinkles. Yes, they are way too sweet for me, but the cinnamon sugar cupcake has no frosting just a layer of cinnamon sugar. That is the best combination in my opinion. I still get a sweet kick on the top, but I really don't need all that frosting because the cake is flavorful and crumbly and moist. It's amazing how it can be both crumbly and moist at the same time! But Candace Nelson makes perfect cupcakes.

So back to my own cupcakes, I'm not so much of a frosting person as you can tell by now. I believe in flavor not so much plain sweetness from excess sugar. Instead of frosting my cupcakes, I had a spoonful of whip cream on top. The simple butter cake with a tiny amount of jam filling topped with whip cream is just a simple dessert but so amazingly refreshing!

Here is the yellow butter cake recipe I used. Instead of baking the batter in a cake pan, I poured them into cupcake liners, and the cake had a simple yet flavorful butter profile that is light and spongy.

1-2-3-4 Butter Cake Recipe
After baking, I let them cool on the wire rack before digging out a hole on the top and filling them up with jam. Don't hesitate to splurge on a good jam. They make a big difference when you're using such simple ingredients as butter and whip cream.

If you don't have one of those cupcake tools I used in the photo, use a core remover or just cut a tiny hole and scoop some cake out.

Cupcake cored and filled with jam
Although I used the recipe as a cupcake base, it also makes a good base for cake. I made an one layer cake with this recipe, then I sliced the cake in half to add frosting and more jam! Put the top layer back and dump frosting all over the cake. Unfortunately, I did not have enough time for the frosting to set, so when it came time to serve the cake, the frosting was dripping off, making my cake look like it's melting.

Frosting dripping off the cake
It was still a easy cake after all =]

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